John Quincy Adams (1817–1825)
John Quincy Adams was born in 1767 in Braintree (presently Quincy), Massachusetts. Son of President John Adams, John Quincy Adams enjoyed an unparalleled education for his time, studying in Europe and then returning to the United States, where he graduated from Harvard University in 1787. He then studied law, was admitted to the state bar in Massachusetts, and began work as a lawyer. He did not practice for long, however, for in 1794 he began a series of appointments as U.S. minister to the Netherlands (1794-1796), to Portugal (1796-1797), and to Prussia (1797-1801). During his time abroad, Adams acted as an official ambassador of the United States when he concluded a commercial treaty with Sweden. After leaving his post in Prussia in 1801, John Quincy returned to the United States and began serving in the Massachusetts State Senate in 1802. Although he failed to win a seat in the House of Representatives in 1802, the Massachusetts state legislature elected him to the United States Senate in 1803, where as a Federalist he served for five years before becoming President James Madison's minister plenipotentiary to Russia. Adams remained in this post until 1814, during which time he declined Madison's offer to become a justice on the Supreme Court. In 1815, Adams left Russia for Great Britain, where he served as U.S. Minister. When James Monroe won the presidential election in 1816, John Quincy Adams became his secretary of state, holding the position from 1817 until 1825, at which time he was inaugurated President of the United States. John Quincy Adams served for four years but failed to secure reelection, in part due to the dispute following his election in 1824. Although Adams forswore politics following his defeat in 1828, he returned to the fray in 1830, running as a Republican for the United States House of Representatives. John Quincy Adams served as a congressman from 1831 until his death in 1848.